Radio listeners in the U.K. and Quebec won’t be hearing many Michael Jackson songs on their airwaves anymore.
On Tuesday, Time reported that three major radio stations in Montreal will no longer play music by the late singer accused of child molestation in the wake of the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland”.
The stating CKOI, Rythme and The Beat took the action due to listener reactions to the allegations in the documentary, a spokesperson for Cogeco Media told Time, adding that the decision will also affect stations in smaller markets across Quebec.
Over the weekend, the Sunday Times reported the BBC Radio 2 radio station has “quietly dropped the King of Pop’s music from its playlists” due to the shocking allegations in “Leaving Neverland”, the controversial HBO documentary set to air on Sunday, March 3 and Monday, March 4.
Directed by Dan Reed, “Leaving Neverland” details the horrific accusations of Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who both allege that the “Thriller” singer sexually abused them when they were children.
“We consider each piece of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind,” a spokesperson for BBC Radio 2 told NME.
The Jackson estate has taken legal action against HBO and denied the allegations of the men, with the late star’s family members appearing on “CBS This Morning” to refute the claims in the documentary, insisting the accusers are only after money.
“These people felt that they’re owed something,” said the late singer’s nephew, Taj Jackson. “You know, instead of working for something, they blame everything on my uncle.”
According to the Times, the decision to delete Jackson’s music from the station’s playlists was made last week; the last time a Michael Jackson song was played on BBC Radio 2 was Saturday, Feb. 23.
With an estimated 15 million weekly listeners, BBC Radio 2 is Britain’s most popular radio station.